Happy sunday and finally back to the training group! We came there before all the others so we could start off with a walk and Bella gets a chance to toilet and inspect smells etc. We walked around for a bit and then I saw Liv (the woman organizing the training) drive up to the training grounds. We were either way going that way so I thought it would be a good thing to say hello since nobody else are there that early. Then Diezel and his owner arrived which she also knows from before and to my surprise Bella layed her ears back in a happy greeting and asked for petting. She hasn’t met him more then a few times, but she was so happy and relaxed to see him. She got her butt scratched and then got to say hello to Diezel. Such a nice meeting for her and without all the excitement of all the other people and dogs. So we left before the others arrived so she could walk more. After the walk we circled back to the car and had a little break. We brought out her blanket and gave her a chew and then started to get ready to train being near the other dogs and all the commotion.
We did as before and stayed in our secluded spot where she has a small forest to one side so she has that as a safe wall and only one side where the dogs are. We focused on disengaging from the dogs, contact, following me and we did some target. She is not relaxed but she is doing good and even better than last time. Her problem is that when she gets overwhelmed she freezes and gets stuck staring. So I am focusing on her being able to look but then also take breaks, disengage and take cues from me. This time I got Reidar to film the whole time we were up by the other dogs so I can see how we did. She gets spooked by the leash hitting the dry leaves at one point, wich tells me among other things that she is on edge, but she gets her thinking back and we continue. When I decide to leave she is reluctant to follow me, she knows what I am up to and she really wants to stay there and watch them more, but I don’t want to overdo anything and I also can’t ask too much of her so things can quickly become tedious and boring. In the end of the video she freezes, there is a dog coming toward her and I am way to slow to come to her aid. But then she disengages and we can walk on, good girl.
We went back to the car and just took a little break there and just before we were going to get Bella in the car the same dog that made her freeze comes toward us and quite close. Bella handled it beautifully, she made contact with us, got treats on the ground, looked shortly at the dog and then back at us for more treats. She was nice and loose in her body and really relaxed. The other dog struggled a bit every time Bella looked at him, but when Bella ate treats from the ground he could move again 😀 Then Bella looked up and the dog froze and fell to the ground. Bella looked away and got treats and he could walk again 😀 It was quite fun to watch and eventually the owner got him past us and we let Bella go and sniff his scent before getting in the car. I am really happy with her and proud. And I am so glad I came to my senses and slowed things down and reconnected with her!